Ledger's Replacements Start Filming In Parnassus

Shooting has restarted in Vancouver on Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, with Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell and Jude Law all replacing Heath Ledger in the cast.

The film went on hiatus after Ledger’s death on Jan. 22, when the live-action section of the production had just finished in London and Gilliam was about to embark on several weeks of bluescreen work in Canada.

The decision to use three actors to replace Ledger was made possible because of the fantastical nature of the story, in which characters pass from contemporary London through a magic mirror into parallel worlds of the imagination.

Ledger had completed filming the “realistic” sections, so Depp, Farrell and Law will play physically transformed versions of his character when he passes into the other worlds.

In a statement, producers William Vince, Amy Gilliam and Samuel Hadida said: “Since the format of the story allows for the preservation of his entire performance, at no point will Heath’s work be modified or altered through the use of digital technology. Each of the parts played by Johnny, Colin and Jude is representative of the many aspects of the character that Heath was playing.”

Gilliam said, “I am grateful to Johnny, Colin and Jude for coming on board, and to everyone else who has made it possible for us to finish the film.”

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus also stars Christopher Plummer, Verne Troyer, Andrew Garfield, Lily Cole and Tom Waits.

Credit: Variety